2020 is just around the corner, and Pokemon Go is kicking off the new year with a variety of in-game activities. Niantic has outlined some of the events it has lined up for the hit Pokemon mobile game in January, and they include the return of a Legendary, a new Research Breakthrough reward, the debut of new Gen 5 Pokemon, and more.
First, Niantic will roll out another new Special Research questline revolving around the villainous Team Rocket. Like December’s Team Rocket Special Research, this questline will culminate in a battle with Team Rocket boss Giovanni, and if you can defeat him, you’ll earn a chance to capture another Shadow Legendary Pokemon, Moltres.
A new month also means a new batch of Field Research tasks to complete. Each time you achieve a Research Breakthrough in January, you’ll encounter a special Lapras with either Ice Shard or Ice Beam. The last time you could get a Lapras with either of these attacks was back in 2018, making this another chance to add one to your collection if you missed it the first time around.
On top of that, the Adventure Sync Hatchathon event is coming back from January 2-16. During that time, you’ll be able to earn rewards like extra Stardust, Rare Candies, and a Unova Stone–which is useful for evolving certain Gen 5 Pokemon–by walking certain distances. You’ll also be able to hatch and encounter wild Pokemon that are wearing party hats during the event.
Shortly after the Hatchathon kicks off, the Legendary Pokemon Heatran will make its return to Pokemon Go. You’ll be able to find the Lava Dome Pokemon in five-star Raids from January 7 to February 4, and this time around, you’ll also have a chance to encounter its Shiny form.
Finally, Niantic is teasing that some more new Pokemon will begin appearing in Pokemon Go soon. The developer has hinted that more Pokemon originally discovered in the Unova region are on their way to the mobile game, although it hasn’t shared any more details beyond that, so it remains to be seen which new Gen 5 monsters will debut next month.
You can read more details about Pokemon Go’s January events on the game’s official website. In the meantime, you have until January 7 to catch the game’s current Legendary, Virizion. Pokemon Go’s January Community Day is also set for Sunday, January 19, although Niantic hasn’t revealed what the featured Pokemon will be just yet. You can catch up on more Pokemon Go news below.
Pokemon Go News
- New Pokemon Go Event Makes It Much Easier To Get Evolution Items
As 2019 winds down, it’s time to look ahead to 2020 and a whole new year of game releases. Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers is among the many titles already scheduled to be released in the new year; below, we’ve outlined everything we know about the upcoming game.
If you haven’t been keeping track, 2020 is looking to be one of the most jam-packed years for new game releases we’ve seen in a while. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are all delivering brand-new IPs and long-awaited sequels to fan-favorite first-party series. Third party developers are delivering too, both triple-A and indie. And, of course, there will be new consoles on the market. Marvel’s Avengers will have a lot of competition for player attention in 2020.
- Announcement & Reveal
- What Is Marvel’s Avengers?
- What Characters Will Be Included In Marvel’s Avengers?
- Confirmed Playable Characters
- Additional Characters Confirmed To At Least Appear
- When Will Marvel’s Avengers Release?
Announcement & Reveal
First announced in January 2017 with the codename The Avengers Project, Marvel’s Avengers remained fairly secret for years–the only concrete information revealed was that it was being developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, the same teams respectively behind the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy and Deus Ex series. It wouldn’t be until 2019 that more information would be released: that the game was officially called Marvel’s Avengers. The game was then officially unveiled and shown off for the first time at E3 2019.
Initial reactions for the game were mixed–we here at GameSpot weren’t sure what the game even was upon seeing it behind closed doors. Based solely on the announcement trailer, Marvel’s Avengers seemed to be a superhero game where you played missions as the titular characters in levels that included both button-mashing combat segments and scripted, on-the-rails platforming/flight sections. The trailer released fresh off the heels of the widely popular Avengers Endgame, and some fans weren’t too thrilled with the stylistic choices taken with the Avengers’ new designs. Square Enix went on record saying the designs would stay, but, ultimately, the characters did get updated designs in future trailers, gameplay reveals, and press images.
- Marvel’s Avengers Characters Have New(ish) Looks
What Is Marvel’s Avengers?
It wouldn’t be until Gamescom 2019 that we’d get a better idea as to what Marvel’s Avengers even is. Despite the title, the main focus of the game’s narrative does not actually focus on Earth’s mightiests heroes. Instead, the main character of Marvel’s Avengers is Kamala Khan, the second Ms. Marvel and the first openly Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic. Since her debut, Kamala has quickly become one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes, going on to receive a second comic run under a different writer and feature in numerous animated series and video games. She’s also getting a live-action TV series for Disney+, which will introduce the character to Disney’s MCU.
Marvel’s Avengers primarily follows on the heels of a reworked variation of the Inhumanity storyline, in which countless humans around the world suddenly discover they are Inhuman and develop superpowers. Kamala is one such Inhuman, developing shapeshifting abilities that she can utilize to grow in size and strength. Discovering a plot by the villainous H.I.V.E, Kamala attempts to reunite the disbanded Avengers, who went their separate ways after failing to stop a terrorist attack.
Gameplay wise, Marvel’s Avengers sees you take on missions as different superheroes–primarily Kamala, but you do play as Avengers and familiar faces from the Marvel universe as well–all of whom play differently. This opens up Marvel’s Avengers to different types of gameplay, ranging from high-action flight missions as Iron Man to more Batman: Arkham Trilogy-like stealth and combat sections as Black Widow. As a result, certain missions can only be tackled by specific characters. However, some missions will allow you to replay them with different characters from the in-game roster.
Marvel’s Avengers is being developed as a games-as-a-service title, with additional characters, missions, and cosmetics releasing after the game has launched. The game supports both single- and multiplayer; as well as both off- and online play.
- Marvel’s Avengers First Prequel Comic Is Available Now
- Marvel’s Avengers Stars Ms. Marvel & 80 Years Of Comic History
- Marvel’s Avengers Game Will Get “Changes To Everything” Before Launch
- Marvel’s Avengers Gameplay, Story Details Shown At Comic-Con Panel
- Good News: Marvel’s Avengers Game Can Be Played Offline
- Marvel’s Avengers Game Has Microtransactions
What Characters Will Be Included In Marvel’s Avengers?
A complete list has yet to be revealed, but, so far, the following characters have been confirmed to be playable in Marvel’s Avengers. Note: Square Enix has teased Hawkeye as a playable character, but has asked fans to “stay tuned” for additional details.
Confirmed Playable Characters
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Black Widow
- Ms. Marvel
The following Marvel characters have been confirmed for Marvel’s Avengers as well, though no announcement has been made confirming whether or not they’re playable.
Additional Characters Confirmed To At Least Appear
- The Abomination
- Marvel’s Avengers Game Characters: All The Superheroes Confirmed (So Far)
- Marvel’s Avengers Studio Head Talks Character Appearances, Crunch, And Squirrel Girl
When Will Marvel’s Avengers Release?
Marvel’s Avengers is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Google Stadia on May 15, 2020.
Audio Logs is a show all about the magic of making games. It features the people that design and develop the experiences that we love, telling the stories of how they’re made. Making games is a long and difficult process where passionate people work tirelessly to overcome challenges, all so that we can be moved by unique games. We rarely see just how much care, thought, and attention goes into every element of the games we play, but Audio Logs aims to deliver some insight into that by giving creators a platform to tell their stories. This, we hope, will, in turn, let fans to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the games they hold dear.
In Audio Logs Season One, we delved into the creation of God of War, Dead Cells, Cuphead, Devil May Cry V, the Shadow of the Colossus remake, and Overwatch character Baptiste, as well as looking back at the career of Goichi “Suda51” Suda. Season 2 will be equally as exciting, and we’re starting with a big one!
The first episode of Audio Logs Season 2 is all about Death Stranding, a unique game and one of the most interesting of 2019. Discussing it are none other than legendary game developers Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa, who break down a pivotal scene from early on in the game. The duo lay out how it was created and reveal the thinking behind its direction, as well as detail how individual elements were designed and depicted.
The scene in question was first shown at The Game Awards in 2017 and, in Kojima and Shinkawa’s own words, encapsulates much of the overall Death Stranding experience. It shows Norman Reedus’s character, Sam Porter Bridges, encountering a BT and having to deal with the fallout of the event. This scene is densely packed with information about the science-fiction world that Death Stranding is set in, but it’s all intentionally placed to give players key information and hint at mysteries that will unfold over the course of the game.
Kojima and Shinkawa unpack the scene, pointing out the smaller details that may not be immediately apparent, explaining why they are important and relevant, and telling the stories of how they were created. For fans of Death Stranding–or Kojima Productions’ previous work–there’s plenty of fascinating insight into things such as why Sam is so frequently shown lying down, the reason the suits look the way they do, and different versions of the Odradek. Kojima also delves into some of the inspirations behind the game, telling stories such as how a bug led to one of the creepiest creatures in Death Stranding, and exploring the message he wants to send through the game.
This episode of Audio Logs is available to watch above, and you can also see it on YouTube, where Season 1 is available to watch. Be sure to subscribe to GameSpot on YouTube to see more episodes as they’re released every Sunday. You won’t want to miss it as the coming episodes will be focused on Control, Persona 5 Royal, Gears 5, and a few more surprises.
In GameSpot’s Death Stranding review, Kallie Plagge said it is a “hard game to absorb,” adding that its quirkier aspects “belie an otherwise very simple message” which becomes more apparent in its mundane moments. Moments such as “when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts are “positive without ignoring pain.” She continues: “In fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It’s a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it’s also one we really need right now.”
Death Stranding was also highlighted as one of GameSpot’s favorite games of the year. “With our present being rife with political turmoil and a general feeling of angst towards our future, there’s a comfort that can be found in a routine and the positivity from others who come from different backgrounds,” said Alessandro Fillari. “Sam’s routine as a delivery man in a post-apocalyptic setting reveals its larger message of hope and perseverance in the face of depressing circumstances, which is a touching message that resonates deeply.”
Whether it’s video games, movies, or TV shows, entertainment is filled with iconic tools of warfare, and much of the stories we love are defined by them; the Pulse Rifle is synonymous with the Aliens franchise; the Man With No Name’s mystique and effortless cool is heightened by the revolver he whips out in the squint of an eye; and the sound of a bullet from the Intervention hitting an enemy immediately conjures up Call of Duty-flavoured nostalgia.
These weapons are the focus of Loadout, a new show that will identify some of pop culture’s most influential armaments and explore them in-depth. Each week, host Dave Jewitt will tackle a different weapon, delve into its origins, examine how it has been used, and lay out the impact it has had on pop culture.
In Episode 1, Loadout takes hold of the revolver, a legendary weapon that has been present from the earliest days of cinema to the current era of video games. Why is it so popular? For Episode 2, Dave takes a look at The Intervention, a weapon that Call of Duty players will be intimately familiar with and, given its status as arguably the most meme-able video game weapon, you may know it even if you haven’t played the shooter series. For Episode 3, Dave delves into the world of Warhammer 40k to explore the history of an iconic sci-fi weapon.
Episode four delves into the history of the rocket launcher, a staple weapon for video games. Its use spans everything from first-person shooters like Quake and Doom, to fighting games like Smash Bros., courtesy of Metal Gear’s Solid Snake. But the origins of the rocket launcher might surprise you.
New episodes of Loadout will air every Saturday and you can find them on GameSpot’s YouTube channel–make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.
Episode 4: The Rocket Launcher
Episode 3: The Bolter
Episode 2: The Intervention
Episode 1: Revolvers
2020 is almost here, so we’ve asked GameSpot’s staff to share which games they’re looking forward to most in the new year. New consoles are going to dominate the headlines, but at the end of the day it’s all about the games, and there are a ton of exciting ones to look forward to. When you’re done reading this entry, follow along with all of our other end-of-the-year coverage collected in our Best of 2019 hub and our Most Anticipated of 2020 hub.
In 2019, Valve almost gave Half-Life fans what they wanted with the official announcement of the upcoming prequel Half-Life: Alyx. But when it announced that the next Half-Life game would be a full-length VR-exclusive prequel to Half-Life 2 rather than the concluding story everyone expected, many grew skeptical. I certainly had my doubts at first. After all, I could easily see its exclusivity as a means for Valve to sell more of its recently-released Index headset. However, those concerns were laid to rest with the game’s first trailer. Now I am convinced that Valve is ready to change the way we play virtual reality games, and will shake up the video game industry once again.
Half-Life: Alyx follows the story of Alyx Vance before Gordon Freeman’s arrival in City 17. As fans know, the events of the first game triggered a massive alien zombie epidemic from a lab experiment gone wrong at the Black Mesa facility. Half-Life: Alyx will most likely fill in the blanks between the first and second game with plenty of surprises up its sleeves–if the spirit of previous Half-Life games is to be of any indication.
Every detail in the first trailer had me in absolute shock. The game seems to pull from the best ideas that Half-Life 2 introduced while exploring the lingering questions the franchise left us with. But what most excites me about Half-Life: Alyx is the potential in interaction being explored in the game. The truth is, VR has often left me wanting more since I feel that the medium is still several notches shy of true immersion. Based on the trailer, no such concern has been raised, and truthfully, it’s the pedigree that Valve boasted in how Half-Life 1 and 2 radically shifted how we think of first-person shooters that has me convinced VR might be a great choice. I believe Valve’s implementation of VR will be Half-Life: Alyx’s highlight and pave the way for other developers to follow suit. I can already see how the new gloves Alyx uses is bringing gravity gun tricks back into the fray through intriguing-looking combat, and how immersive it might be to peek out from cover or comb through rubble for scarce ammunition. Most of all, I eagerly await and dread the sheer terror I will probably encounter when I turn around just in time to see a headcrab launch itself right at my face.
The early release date is also too much for me to process fully. Here I was accepting that Half-Life 3 became the gaming world’s favorite meme, and now I’m staring down a March 2020 release date for the only other thing that could get me just as excited. Half-Life: Alyx has its work cut out for it considering the massive expectations fans have from the series, but I’m excited to see what Valve will offer. We are at the precipice of a brand new decade of ground-breaking titles, and it is exciting that Valve seems to be cracking its knuckles, eager to get the first shot.